If you find it tough to take bobbleheads seriously, you’re not alone. But perhaps you should. And National Bobblehead Day on January 7 now is a chance to recognize the fun behind these dolls—and admit you like them without feeling self-conscious about it. Although these goofy dolls have become popular in the past couple of decades, bobbleheads have been around for the past few centuries. We bet you there’s a bobblehead version of any famous person you can think of: presidents, sports figures, Supreme Court justices, and the Beatles all have their own bobbleheads. Clearly, National Bobblehead Day is a great idea. And if you don’t believe us, just ask the world’s population of millions of bobbleheads. They’re sure to be nodding in agreement.
National Bobblehead Day timeline
NY York Yankees bobblehead sells for $60K
One of two surviving bobbleheads of the 1961-1962 New York Yankees team was auctioned for almost $60,000.
National Bobblehead Day Recognized
The first ever National Bobblehead Day is celebrated.
- May 9, 1999
San Francisco Giants bring bobbleheads back in style
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Candlestick Park, the San Francisco Giants gave 20,000 visitors a Willie Mays bobblehead. This giveaway is attributed with bringing bobbleheads back in style after interest waned in the 1970's.
The Beatles are the first pop culture bobbleheads
As one of the first sets of human bobbleheads that weren't athletes, the Fab Four pioneered the U.S.'s pop culture bobblehead explosion.
The first sports bobbleheads are created
The first sports bobblehead made featured a generic basketball player.
Bobbleheads make their way West
Made from ceramics, bobbleheads were imported to Europe from China in the 1760's.
- 17th century
First record of bobbleheads
Called "temple nodders," the earliest known bobbleheads were modeled after Buddha and other religious figures.
National Bobblehead Day Activities
Visit the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum
The National Bobblehead Museum is still in the planning stages, but you can visit its website and learn more about the history of bobbleheads. You can also see the growing list of bobblehead dolls that have been given away in recent years. Eventually, the museum expects to have a physical presence in Milwaukee. There’s been no official word yet on whether the roof will bounce up and down, though.
See how many heads you can bobble simultaneously
Bobblehead dolls are supposed to be fun, right? So line up a few dozen bobbleheads and see if you can get all of their heads bouncing at the same time. Who knows? Maybe the Guinness Book of World Records will have a new entry when you’re finished.
Visit a sports stadium on bobblehead giveaway day
Nearly every professional sports team, from the major leagues to the minors, offers a bobblehead giveaway day at some point. Purchase some tickets and receive your free gift! Just be sure to get there early. Such giveaways usually have a limited number, and because some people have been known to take their bobblehead collections pretty seriously, you don’t want to be fighting a cutthroat collector for one of the last bobbleheads in the box.
Why We Love National Bobblehead Day
They’re sure to make you smile
Bobblehead dolls are designed to be goofy looking, so they’re great for taking a break during a tough day. It’s impossible to look at a bobblehead and not crack a smile. Keeping a bobblehead on your desk is a surefire way to help yourself feel better and relieve some stress.
They're a great addition to any kind of collection
You don’t have to be a bobblehead collector to enjoy these dolls. If you collect items related to a specific sports team, for example, add a few bobbleheads to your collection, and they’ll fit right in with the other items. If you collect super hero figures, bobbleheads give you quite a few options to round out your collection.
They can be really valuable
We wouldn’t recommend spending your retirement plan on your bobblehead collection, but there are some figure out there that have some value. This can be a fun item to collect that also will potentially pay off in appreciation value over the long haul… if you can bring yourself to sell your favorites down the road.